I can’t look at a group of ingredients and figure out a meal to make. I buy outfits by looking at mannequins. I can’t visualize a room or a yard with a concept of how to decorate it. I’m not crafty. I don’t make things from scratch.
Instead, I follow recipes and patterns and step-by-step guides. I Google and YouTube and Facebook what others have already figured out. I color within the lines and do my best to follow all the rules. So while my interpretations and descriptions of things might be creative, that’s really as much exercise as my right brain gets.
Given all that, the past month or so has been quite an unmethodical departure. I’ve been busy with all sorts of crafty little projects. I’ve found myself buying paint and tape and glue and googly eyes and wood and varnish. I’ve followed a few instructions but mostly have totally winged it as I’ve gone along.
In other words, Rob is wondering where his linear, systematic, plan-happy wife went.
The first project was about a month ago. I always want something patriotic to wear on Independence Day but I’m never happy with any of the offerings in the mall; I always end up wearing shoes that look like baseballs instead, hoping that suffices.
Finally deciding to take matters into my own sponge-painted hands, I bought a couple of boring white tops, some multi-surface paint that alluded to being washable, and ended up with these. I’m actually quite pleased. And very relieved that they both survived laundry day.
Inspired that I could make my own clothes without a sewing machine, I am waiting for these fandom shoes to arrive. I originally had a Seahawks logo on them but just a few hours after placing my order I received a tsk-tsk nasty gram from the shoe makers informing me that licensed copyrighted franchised official logos aren’t allowed blah blah blah. Thankfully numbers aren’t trademarked (yet) so Option 12 is currently in production.
Feeling craftily confident, I then went rogue and channeled my inner grade-schooler to create three sock puppets for a video series I volunteered to produce for our church. Mind you, I have no experience making or editing videos. Or sock puppets. I just thought these sounded like skills I should acquire before I turn 50. No time to waste!
So with several burn marks from the glue gun and way more left-over felt than expected, I fashioned these three characters…from scratch.
|Hall, Oates, and George|
It probably helps to know we are Quakers. And the founding
father of Quakerdom is a guy named George Fox.
And I like late '70s pop music.
Rob’s script in hand, I then spent a giggly afternoon with three teens from our Youth Group followed by a long and punchy evening figuring out some free video editing software. Our goal with the “coming attractions” videos was to create something goofy and home-spun.
I decided not to give much direction cuz it
was way more fun that way.
With my “I CAN DO IT” confidence building, my next adventure was pretty bold. Yes, even bolder than sock puppets.
I decided to finally act on some unformed ideas that had been vaguely simmering in my head ever since March when I helped a friend decorate her front porch. I provided none of the ideas, only encouragement and some detailed work with an exacto knife.
My friend’s desire to make her porch an extension of her inviting home inspired me to try to figure out how I might turn our 15 largely ignored feet of covered cement into something homey and useful.
Luring Rob – and his muscles and healthy back – into my web of ideas, we cleaned up an old wine press, spray painted flower pots, stained and varnished new crates to look old, bought an outdoor carpet and some doodads, and finally gave some TLC to an old park bench and welcome sign that looked mostly forgotten near our front door.
We both LOVE our new porch! Yes, it’s been there the whole time but until recently it was really just a place for Amazon and Zappos boxes to find a temporary home.
Last night, as we were sitting out there yet again admiring all the trees and hummingbirds yet again, Rob admitted he initially thought the idea of decorating our porch was a little silly and he couldn’t imagine we would ever use it.
Now in just a few short weeks it has become one of our favorite spots at Woodhaven. While I am absolutely thrilled by how well it turned out, I am even more in awe that Rob was such a willing participant in a project he wasn’t sure about. The language of love is spoken in many ways.
One last project:
I decided I was tired of unearthing the measuring cups every time I try to follow a recipe so I Googled “how to organize kitchen drawer” and found this awesome solution.
I can not in any way take credit for this idea – or even the labor. All I can take credit for is identifying the need and solution, placing tape, and providing encouragement and cold beverages.
But the fact that I even considered this option instead of just buying a bunch of little plastic organizey boxes to shove in the drawers gives me one more hint that my left brain has decided to take a breather.
And they all – or at least Rob – said “AMEN!”
The most surprising thing about all these little artsy-craftsy projects isn’t the fact that I actually thought to do them…although that is rather remarkable.
It’s more that as I was doing them, I found myself being OK with things not being perfect. I was OK with paint going outside of the lines. OK with visions formulating in the process instead of insisting on a fully baked idea before even starting. OK with hair flopping around and tape holding ears together.
There really is much freedom and joy in just getting out the glue and paint and googly eyes and letting ideas carry along without a firm plan. Go figure.
Between this and the coloring and the crocheting, I think I might finally be making some progress on being a little less Type A and a little more Type Ahhhh.
And they all – or at least Rob – said “AMEN!”